Because you have to start somewhere. In December of 2014, I decided to start birding.

Bio: Hi, I’m Audrey! I live in Portland, Oregon. I have a bachelor’s degree in science and an associate’s in natural resources. I love nature, traveling, learning, and I’m inspired by birds!

I’m a beginner birder and I’ve decided to keep track of the birds I see. Mostly I’ll visit parks and wetland reserves near my hometown of Portland, Oregon. I’ll probably make a point to travel around the state to find unique or rare species. I’m following this list of the 534 species that have occurred in Oregon as a guide, but I’ll also include species I see on travels outside the state. Hopefully I’ll find a bunch! I’m carrying field guides, taking webinars, classes, joining local birding group outings…anything I can do to learn more about birds!

Why am I birding?

No, really, why am I birding? 

  • I’ve always had a casual interest, but after finally completing my degree I have more time and energy to invest in the birding lifestyle.
  • Once I began, I was hooked. As I mentioned in my first post, it’s given me a focus on my hikes and reignited my love of Oregon. It’s an interesting challenge as often new birds present themselves each outing. I feel a connection to nature and it takes me out of my head.
  • I’m tackling digital photography and there’s nothing like the satisfaction of capturing a good picture of a bird (AKA moving target).

Why am I blogging about birding? 

  • Writing about my birding experiences helps me solidify the birds to memory. Not that I can remember them all, but at least I’ll have a reference point to go back to. It’s a way to process what I see, hear, and learn.
  • Also, by putting it out there, perhaps it’ll influence someone else to see their hometown and birds in a different light. My hope is that as my skills improve, and if I organize this site well enough, I may help other beginner birders learn a thing or two.

What birds do I hope to see? 

  • Right now, at the top of my list are owls (all of them), I’d especially like to see Great Grey Owls. I’d also like to see Rock Wrens (because they rock), Yellow-breasted Chats, and bluebirds because happiness.
  • 2014: Cedar Waxwings, and any migrating bird. And Puffins, because Puffins!!
  • I’m more interested in quality sightings over quantity. More than a numbers game, I am interested in learning about bird’s roles in ecosystems, their history, and what future concerns exist for certain species.

What am I doing for birds? 

  • Mostly, observing them. I have huge amounts of respect and admiration for what animals in nature, especially birds have to do just to stay alive; migration, winters, habitat loss, predation, and/or a combination of all of it. I am aware that they’re natural creatures and not here for my enjoyment (even though I do enjoy watching them). There’s a line when interacting with nature, and I aim to stay on the well-meaning side.
  • Citizen science projects! Backyard bird counts, Christmas counts, Birdathon. Anything to help preserve these natural wonders.

What is my favorite bird/bird-song? 

  • Honestly, I have a soft spot for the Killdeer, since it was the first bird I correctly identified on my own in my first Ornithology class in 2005.
  • My favorite song is that of the Swainson’s Thrush because I usually hear it when hiking in the Columbia Gorge, one of the places I treasure most in Oregon.

Thanks for following along!

Tweets and chirps!